The world is a manifestation of the three gunas (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas). When selfishness and self-interest are rampant, people forget kindness and compassion, when the forces of injustice, immorality and untruth grow to monstrous proportions and indulge in a death-dance, the Atmic principle, Divine Mother Shakti, takes on the Rajasic form to suppress and win over the dark forces of evil, and protect Sattvic qualities. This is the inner meaning of the Dasara festival. During the ten days of the Dasara Festival, ask yourself, has the Divine Mother destroyed the 10 demons (rakshasas) within you? Rakshasas are not demonic beings but wicked qualities. Arrogance, bad thoughts, lust, anger, delusion, greed, pride, envy, ego, and hatred are the demons that must be destroyed. You must decide for yourself whether you are now a Ravana or Rama according to your qualities! Embodiments of Divine Love! From today, lead your life with selfless love and live in peace and joy!
What can you achieve with your paltry intelligence? A man once laughed at God for giving the majestic banyan tree a tiny seed and conferring on the ash gourd, a gigantic fruit. “No sense of proportion,” he thought! He was travelling, and as time passed, he felt tired and happened to sleep under the shade of a banyan tree. When he woke up, he saw many seeds that had fallen on his body. If only the banyan tree had seeds in proportion to its size, a single seed falling from that height would have killed the critic in no time! He thanked God for His perfect logic and wisdom and continued the journey, feeling safe and secure. Take everything as it comes, and cultivate contentment. Do not multiply your wants and foster greed and despair. You take off your warm clothing when you start feeling warm yourself. The coat of desire has to be taken off when the warmth of devotion increases. Strive to secure grace, do not strive to secure any lesser fruit.
It is only to enable you to put good thoughts into practice that goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati are worshipped during these Dasara celebrations. Durga is not to be understood as a ferocious goddess. She is the Goddess Supreme who protects you. Lakshmi is the embodiment of all wealth. Saraswati is the goddess of speech. Good thoughts, good words and good actions represent the tatwa (essence) of these three goddesses. He who teaches good things to you is verily the embodiment of Goddess Saraswati. He who teaches evil is verily a demon. Goddess Durga destroys only such demons. Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati are, in fact, not different from you. They are very much installed in your own heart. They exhort you to lead the life of a human being, since you are a human being. Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati are the three mothers to a human being.
Every yajna has a great unseen influence on human life, for these sacred formulae are potent sounds, charged with subtle mysteries. The ritual sacrifice (yajna) has a deeper meaning; the meanings that symbols have is really valuable and essential for human progress. Every rite is a symbolic act. Yajna is correlated at every step with human aspirations and spiritual practices. It is kept in touch with human life and aspirations in its minutest detail. Butter is the product of the churning of the emotions, impulses, impressions, and instincts of people – the purest and the most authentic essence of the divine in people. That butter, when it is still more clarified, becomes ghee, and that is what is offered to the Gods! When you pray, always concentrate on the everlasting fruit – the universal, the spiritual. Do not pray for small mundane desires; direct your mind to follow the guidelines taught by the Lord to re-establish righteousness (dharma) in the Universe.
The ten-day Dasara festival is meant to encourage you to control your ten senses. Legend says that Goddess Chamundi killed the demon Mahisha during this Dasara festival. What is the inner meaning of this story? We should not under any circumstance associate ourselves with demons. Your thoughts, words and actions must be pure, worthy of being human and not demoniac. Avoid bad company and always be in good company. Do not develop hatred towards anyone. Whomever you come across, consider them as embodiments of Divinity and salute them. Always speak truth, observe righteousness (Dharma). Be peaceful. Be happy and blissful. You should conduct yourself with love in society. I am suffused with love. I distribute that love to one and all. I do not hate anyone. I have no selfishness at all! My love is selfless love. Love is My property. You all are heirs to that property. Love is God, God is Love. Hence, live in love.